“Lamaas, priest of Brahm, who was a friend of Jesus when he was in the temple of Jagannath, had heard of Jesus and his mighty works in many lands; and he had left his home and come to Palestine in search of him. And as he journeyed towards Jerusalem he heard of John, the harbinger, who was esteemed a prophet of the living God. Lamaas found the harbinger at Salim Springs; for many days he was a silent listener to the pungent truths he taught. And he was present when the Pharisee told John of Jesus and his mighty works. He heard the answer of the harbinger; heard him bless the name of Jesus; whom he called the Christ” (Aquarian Gospel 80:1-5).
John expounds the mission of Jesus
“And then he spoke to John; he said, Pray tell me more about this Jesus whom you call the Christ. And John replied, this Jesus is the love of God made manifest. Lo, men are living on the lower planes–the planes of greed and selfishness; for self they fight; they conquer with the sword. In every land the strong enslave and kill the weak. All kingdoms rise by force of arms; for force is king. This Jesus comes to overthrow this iron rule of force, and seat Love on the throne of power. And Jesus fears no man. He preaches boldly in the courts of kings, and everywhere, that victories won by force of arms are crimes; that every worthy end may be attained by gentleness and love just as the Prince of Peace, Melchisedec, the priest of God, won gallant victories in war without the shedding of a drop of blood. You ask where are the temples of the Christ? He ministers at shrines not made with hands; his temples are the hearts of holy men who are prepared to see the king. The groves of nature are his synagogues; his forum is the world. He has no priests dressed up in puppet style to be admired by men; for every son of man is priest of Love. When man has purified his heart by faith, he needs no middle man to intercede. He is on friendly terms with God; is not afraid of him, and he is able, and is bold enough, to lay his body on the altar of the Lord. Thus every man is priest, and is himself a living sacrifice. You need not seek the Christ, for when your heart is purified the Christ will come, and will abide with you for evermore” (Aquarian Gospel 80:6-19).
And then he spoke to John; he said, Pray tell me more about this Jesus whom you call the Christ. And John replied, this Jesus is the love of God made manifest. Talk is cheap and talk about love is particularly cheap. Few things are more tiresome than having to listen to it, so much so that when the real thing comes into our life sphere we tend to ignore or reject it. Once we were visited by a saint who truly was a heavenly man and an earthly angel. He gently put both his hands on my arms and said: “Please accept my love,” and then kissed me on both cheeks. The love he radiated was very tangible–and his humility, as well. Yet it took a few moments to adjust to meeting a sincerely loving person. So when we read that Saint John calls Jesus “the love of God made manifest” it is not some cute bit of spiritual theatrics but straight truth. God is love (I John 4:8, 16), and since Jesus was in total, absolute union with God, he was truly love made manifest. And this was his continual state, not something that increased or decreased or came and went. He is not just our friend, he is our beloved friend. Churches commit a terrible evil when they make people think Jesus is adversary, judge, and coming punisher of evil. Rather, his mission is to “take away the sins of the world” by showing us path to freedom.
Lo, men are living on the lower planes–the planes of greed and selfishness; for self they fight; they conquer with the sword. In every land the strong enslave and kill the weak. All kingdoms rise by force of arms; for force is king. This Jesus comes to overthrow this iron rule of force, and seat Love on the throne of power. This will have nothing to do with political power; it will be a reign of love in the hearts of those who purify themselves so God can be enthroned in their consciousness. When this happens, their silent, invisible influence will help those around them to temper their “might is right” philosophy with a more spiritually intelligent view. This will not happen overnight, and not without a backlash from those who worship evil, but it will steadily gain ground. When Jesus comes among us for the second time it will be an assured thing. Nevertheless it will take much evolution for everyone on the earth to truly have peace in their heart. But it will come.
And Jesus fears no man. He preaches boldly in the courts of kings, and everywhere, that victories won by force of arms are crimes. We, too, must fear nothing, for that is a fundamental trait of virtue: fearlessness. Since none of us are forces in the political arena of the world we need to understand this principle as it applies to the life of an individual: anything attained by force or coercion of any kind is an evil. This is true in every situation. The only lawful coercion of any kind is that of self-discipline. We have the right to force ourselves because we own ourselves and are answerable to ourselves. But in relation to others there can be no such thing. “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law” (Romans 13:8).
That every worthy end may be attained by gentleness and love just as the Prince of Peace, Melchisedec, the priest of God, won gallant victories in war without the shedding of a drop of blood. To be “a priest after the order of Melchisedec” is to be a master who conquers by gentleness and love. It can be done, for I have seen it in the lives of saints I have known, especially in Swami Sivananda. Yogananda, too, was such a one. More than once people who tried to rob him were transformed by his love. One mentally ill man was planning to shoot him, but Yogananda just looked at him with love and the man dropped the gun and said: “Forgive me: you have taken my evil away.” Sister Vijaya told me that many times when traveling with Yogananda she saw crude and bullying men come up and say: “Just what are you?” because of his long hair and orange clothing. She said that Yogananda would smile at them and tell them a little about himself. “They would turn away and weep like little children,” she told me, “because for the first time in their life they experienced being loved.” As the hymn says: “For his love has been so gracious, it has won my heart at last.”
You ask where are the temples of the Christ? He ministers at shrines not made with hands; his temples are the hearts of holy men who are prepared to see the king. Jesus clearly said: “My kingdom is not of this world,” but for two thousand years Churchians have refused to believe it, insisting that the Church of Christ is an earthly institution with administrators to keep people in line. Certainly those who live in Christ’s kingdom through their spiritual awakening possess physical bodies and will naturally gather with those of similar spiritual orientation to inspire one another in their devotion. They may erect buildings for their assembly, but they know the Church is an association of hearts whose rule is love not dogma. And most of all they know that no human agency can admit anyone to the Church nor can any human authority close the doors against anyone or expel them. Each person does that himself. Certainly the Church is entered and exited, but only by the disposition of the spirits of those without and within it.
Limited as its theology was, I was fortunate to be raised in a denomination that did not even keep membership records because they said the Church cannot be joined externally, but only through the life of the spirit. They accepted everyone who was “of the spirit” as their brothers and sisters. They did not care about their ideas of doctrine, but only that they should have the “life in Christ” that sets them free (Romans 8:2). And they did not expect them to join our group. As you might expect, our little denomination was small, but there were other, equally small, groups that felt the same way and followed the same way of the love of Christ.
To be a temple of Christ our hearts must be pure and prepared to “see the King”–to rise into the vision of God. The Kingdom is within and so must our life be centered within where we can live with Christ–if we so will.
The groves of nature are his synagogues; his forum is the world. The whole world is “the house of God” where He can be met everywhere.
He has no priests dressed up in puppet style to be admired by men; for every son of man is priest of Love. When man has purified his heart by faith, he needs no middle man to intercede. No one speaks for God but God himself. That does not mean we should not listen to those who have experience in spiritual life and respectfully consider their words, but ultimately we are going to have to follow our spiritual intuition. Again, purification is necessary for the Christ-life.
He is on friendly terms with God; is not afraid of him, and he is able, and is bold enough, to lay his body on the altar of the Lord. Thus every man is priest, and is himself a living sacrifice. God is the last person we should fear, for the essence of spiritual life is loving communication with Him. The Bible tells us that “the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend” (Exodus 33:11). But the requisite is the final step in yoga: Ishwarapranidhana: the giving of our life to God. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:1, 2). This is a high ideal, but so is friendship with God.
You need not seek the Christ, for when your heart is purified the Christ will come, and will abide with you for evermore. Yogananda often spoke of this fact, saying that when we expand our consciousness enough “God will automatically get into you” and make us His living temple.
Lama meets Jesus
“And then Lamaas journeyed on; he came to Jesus as he taught beside the ford. And Jesus said, Behold the Star of India! Lamaas said, Behold the Sun of Righteousness! And he confessed his faith in Christ, and followed him” (Aquarian Gospel 80:20-22).
Lamaas knew who Jesus was and Jesus knew the truth of Lamaas’ being, so they were at one. To follow Jesus is to know him; to know Jesus is to follow him.
Read the next section in the Aquarian Gospel for Yogis: The Woman at the Well